Damian Lillard trade talks have reportedly picked up as the NBA moves closer to the start of the season and training camp, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be traded to his preferred destination of Miami.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski believes the Trail Blazers are looking for a third team to come in and fix the trade dilemmas that are happening with the Heat.
During previous trade talks between the two franchises, it was reported that Miami’s trade packages weren’t enticing enough for Portland.
“But I think Portland, what they’ve been trying to do, is see how they could put together multi-team deals that would get them the assets that they would want,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Today. “Draft picks, young players. There might be a team that their best asset is a veteran player that doesn’t interest the Blazers, but there’s a third team who might want to take on that veteran and then send whether it’s a young player or picks in part to Portland. So I think they’ve been in communication with a lot of teams trying to find a structure of a deal that can get them a Damian Lillard trade. We’ll see now how much traction they can get between now and the start of camp.”
However, another NBA insider, Chris Mannix, believes that if a deal can’t be done between Miami and Portland, that OKC are a dark horse to bag Lillard if a trade doesn’t get done between now and the start of the season on October 24.
“Trust me, I wrote this last week,” Mannix said on The Crossover NBA Show. “I believe I’m going to call this an educated opinion. That if Dame is still on that Blazers roster in January. And if OKC is overachieving. If they’re playing really well, don’t be surprised if they go out and make a run at Lillard.”
The Thunder are a super young team that could certainly benefit from a veteran steering the ship, but it’s hard to see them giving up prospects like Josh Giddey or Canada’s Shai Gilgeous Alexander.
But if they can somehow manage to hold onto their core and only give up future draft picks for Lillard, then that would certainly make more sense and the team would instantly be elevated into the championship conversation.
OKC also have rookie Chet Holmgren, who missed out on his entire first season in the NBA due to injury, so there are exciting things happening in Oklahoma.
Throw Damian Lillard into the mix and you would have a scary OKC team that is sure to go well beyond last season’s ninth seed finish.